Today, I got an email informing me that my host city this summer will be Suzhou in Jiangsu Province, which is very near Shanghai (a little north-ish). I’ve never been there before, so I think it will be an interesting experience. I hear that it’s a gorgeous city, and there’s even a saying that goes “上有天堂,下有苏杭”: “Up there, there is Heaven; down here, there is Suzhou and Hangzhou.”

Anyway, I guess a lot of you are wondering about Suzhou (I know I was!), so lucky for us, American Councils very kindly sent me some information! Suzhou is a couple thousand years old (2500, I think). It has lots of gardens and canals, and it is also home to the Suzhou Industrial Park, which is a joint business venture between China and Singapore. My host school, Suzhou No. 3 High School, is located in the Industrial Park. Apparently it’s a really impressive high school, with award-winning teachers and regionally-recognized academics. As far as the climate, I won’t really be escaping the Hotlanta weather; the PDF American Councils sent me says: “Average temperatures in the summer are 90 degrees and can exceed 100 degrees, with high humidity as well.” JOY, lol.

Canals: http://in360hd.com/?p=59        Another link about Suzhou: http://www.classicsuzhou.com/